An interview with Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch!

Hi Everyone! So, this week for our Tuesday blog, we’ve got an interview with Jared Shurin of the brilliant Pornokitsch to whet your appetite for his guest blog tomorrow! Enjoy!

1. What keeps you blogging?

It is really, really fun.

2. Are you on Twitter? If so, do you think it’s useful?

I am – @pornokitsch. Anne’s on as @thefingersofgod. Twitter is really important, else you’ll miss all the scandals. And Tom Pollock’s (@tomhpollock) ridiculous puns.

That said, one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made was to keep Twitter off my phone. Else I’d be walking into a lot of walls.

3. What are your favourite blogs and why?

For SF/F reviews, I read all the genre staples: Staffer’s Book Reviews, The Booksmugglers, Dreampunk, Strange Horizons, Bookworm Blues, I Will Read Books, A Dribble of Ink,… We definitely don’t all share the same taste, but I learn a lot from them.

The same goes for Sam Sykes and Mark Charan Newton. They both like to use their blogs to challenge the status quo of SF/F. I don’t always agree with them, but they make me think.

Other author blogs: I think Kameron Hurley, Maurice Broaddus and Simon Morden are all must-reads. The way that they blog about both the personal and professional aspects of writing is fascinating (and eye-opening).

They’re also three of the most self-aware and least self-aggrandising authors in the business; they use their blogs to discuss the issues and challenges that they’re facing as authors.

4. What are your all-time favourite reads?

That’s really tough!

Author-wise, John D. MacDonald and Robert W. Chambers – not just the books (the two of them churned out a lot of work, a great deal of which was rubbish), but the whole package: life, philosophy, context, etc. They were prolific, enthusiastic, versatile and occasionally genius.

5. What are you reading at the moment?

I’m a judge for The Kitschies, so I’m knee-deep in 2012 SF/F titles. Which, don’t get me wrong, is 100% awesome, but I feel weird talking about it.

I’m also reading the new (long-lost!) James Cain title, The Cocktail Waitress. Noir fiction from the femme fatale’s point of view. And I’m slowly, rather belatedly, getting through the backlists for both Mary Gentle and Jeff Noon. And I’m continuing to bribe South African friends into bringing Sarah Lotz books over with them… And…

6. Do you use any book-specific social networks? (For example Goodreads)


7. What content does your blog cover? (i.e. Just books, or other things?)

Mostly books. Anne also does film and TV reviews which (slightly counter-intuitively) take longer to write (possibly because she’s a lot more thoughtful than I am. Hmmm….).

Within books, we’re all over the place. Lots of SF/F reviews – new and old – but also crime, YA, Westerns, lost classics, historical romances… nurse fiction… Whatever we’re reading.

Plus the standard blogging recipe of lists, interviews, events and talking about ourselves.

8. What would you recommend to anyone looking to start a blog?

This sounds totally pretentious, but: “Do it to have fun.” A lot of people do it to practice their writing, rail against The Man or get free stuff. Those are all completely valid goals, but there are better means of achieving them.

If your goal is just to have fun, you’re not beholden to either The Cause or The Industry. It sounds selfish (and a little trite), but it is the best way to keep things in perspective.

9. Who are your blogging heroes?

Nate Silver’s 538 is the best election analysis in the world, but the way that he combines original content and critical thought makes him an example of blogging at its finest.

Drew Magary was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award last year. He’s also one of the States’ predominant sportsbloggers (see: He’s brilliant. Emotive, decisive, a bit filthy and incredibly thoughtful. (Bonus points: he dismissed the entirety of Priestgate with asingletweet) (…that won’t make any sense to anyone in the UK. Alas.)

Genevieve Valentine’s movie reviews are hilarious. She watches terrible films – she enjoys terrible films – and manages to be thoughtful about them. A role model for reviewers everywhere.

10. Do you write yourself? If so, has blogging helped or hindered your writing?

Nope. Although, now that I’ve been published by Jo Fletcher Books…


  1. Thanks for the mention, Jared.
    It’s a shame Magary is little known in the UK despite the recognition of his fiction there. Not sure it’s been as well received stateside despite his much higher profile here as a sports blogger. Perhaps BECAUSE of his higher profile as a sports blogger I wonder?

  2. ‘More thoughtful’ – hah!

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